Discussions with India over longstanding issues 'very fruitful': Bangladesh lawmaker

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 10:10 hrs

A lawmaker of the ruling Awami League, Tarana Halim, said both nations have acknowledged the grave issues and underscored that these could be resolved at the earliest if time bound target is set.

"We have come here to find solutions; the discussions have been very fruitful. We have agreed; both the members of parliament of Bangladesh as well as India that there are problems, there are issues. Though we have agreed that those issues exist, we have also agreed that they need to be addressed. So, from the side of Bangladesh, our proposal is that we should have a time bound target, so that we know that within this time limit, we can come to a successful solution to all these problems," said Halim in Guwahati.

According to media reports, the visiting delegation has blamed the Indian government for not taking up the issue of illegal immigration from the country to Assam and other northeastern states.

The Bangladeshi lawmakers added that they would never endorse illegal immigration.

A lawmaker of Awami League, Bangladesh, Tofail Ahmad, said that there was exchange of views between parliamentarians of both sides.

He said that the two grave problems before them were insurgency and boundary demarcation. Speaking on the issue of insurgency, Ahmad said that Bangladesh would try to ensure that no insurgent gets shelter in their country.

The discussion included an array of subjects like trade, land border agreement and insurgency.

"We have been invited by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), they have organized this programme. This is the exchange of views among the parliamentarians, Indian and Bangladesh parliamentarians. Indian parliamentarians consist of all the parties, who have their representatives in the parliament. We have come here with the members, who have their representation in the parliament. So, this is a dialogue between the parliamentarians. We have discussed everything, all the prevailing issues of the country regarding trade, land border agreement, regarding insurgents," he said.

The two countries have struggled to establish good ties ever since India helped its eastern neighbour to emerge as independent Bangladesh in 1971 from what was then East Pakistan.

Ties have also suffered over recent years because of Indian worries Islamist militants were using Bangladesh as a base.

In 2011, Bangladesh and India signed a comprehensive framework agreement on bilateral cooperation, a protocol on land boundaries, memoranda of understanding on renewable energy and conservation of the Sundarban mangrove forests, home of the Royal Bengal tigers, officials told reporters.

An addendum was also signed to facilitate overland transit to Nepal so Bangladesh can transport goods to the land-locked Himalayan state using a small patch of Indian land, they said.

India also agreed to allow duty-free access to 46 types of garments from Bangladesh to the Indian markets, with immediate effect, which Bangladeshi businessmen termed a long-awaited achievement. (ANI)

More from Sify: